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Marco Island recognizes Audubon of the Western Everglades' Owl Watch program

Chairperson Erik Brechnitz of the Marco Island City Council hands a proclamation to Lori Beall, membership director of the Owl Watch program, on Feb. 18, 2020.

City Council proclaimed Feb. 18 as Owl Watch Appreciation Day in honor of the dedication of the volunteers of Owl Watch to protect and preserve the burrowing owls of Marco Island.

"Thank you to all the councilmen and council woman [...] on behalf of Audubon of the Western Everglades," said Lori Beall, membership director of the Owl Watch program. "We couldn't do it without this wonderful group of volunteers."

"You are the heart and soul of this organization."

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From 2016 to the present, the burrowing owl population in Marco Island has grown from 118 pairs to a record 242 pairs, according to the proclamation.

The nesting season of 2019 was the most productive on record, with 563 chicks raised in the city.

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.